A direct-realization path of non dual understanding where inclusion of human diversion is embraced and the only real exclusion lies as the dispelling of you believing yourself to be something lesser than God’s Self.
The teachings of mahāyoga, also called Siddha yoga largely consists of immersion into the depth of your own consciousness, using the grace of shaktipat-diksha as vehicle.
Shaktipat is a transmission of energy from a siddha guru/ jivanmukta to an aspirant. It activates the kundalini shakti from its coiled base at the moolhadhar chakra and brings forth the path of realization for the aspirant. The initiator with his or hers compassionate action embodies the undivided field of awareness smittening the aspirant to start resonating within the same field of oneness, not always known to the aspirant.
The goal of this awakened potential is for the aspirant to realize himself and to become equally established as their own gurudev, undivided and whole.
Siddha Guru Sangha
He was curious growing up exploring every aspect of consciousness, yet experience with psychedelics opened him up to seek out a more permanent state of bliss. Being born in a Hindu family had its advantage as he was led to the traditional system of Siddha Maha Yoga in his mid teens where he was initiated with rapid progression into non-dual awareness.
Awakened at an early age he realized the true nature of the Self, and was established in it years shortly after the initial awakening. The teachings of Trika Shaivism, Advaita Vedanta, Ramana Maharishi and Nisargadatta were a huge influence to break through the last remnants of illusion.
His contemporary approach regards the process as a biological evolutionary phenomenon and a knowing that planetary awakening is imminent and urgent and cannot be claimed by any one tradition or philosophy. He adopts no systems or structures, yet combines valuable aspects of all. His engineering background provides a more scientific perspective of awakening and he often takes support of Ayurvedic scriptures in his teachings. Rohan has facilitated awakening for thousands through Shaktipat transmissions and guided many through his pointers to the absolute.
His humble yet brutally honest, eye opening and ego crushing guidance, helps adepts dismantle illusions obscuring true being and realize their true nature as the Awareness. Over the past years he has compiled many in-depth articles, which make up a wealth of information and knowledge from both ancient scriptures and modern scientific studies.
Continuously inspired by the biology and physics of the Kundalini process he researches and explores fields of vibrational mechanics, as well as the Ayurvedic concepts of life.
In his available approach many turn to him for guidance and with intuitive clarity his pointers are according to the unique standpoint of the entity that seeks. The pointers are often references taken from classic scriptures of Advaita Vedanta, Tantric traditions of Kashmir (Trika) Shaivism as well as Zen Buddhism although he does himself repeats that
“Teacher, teachings and the taught, all appear and disappear in awareness. .”
So where words, teachings and pointers become a limitation, since they are taken to be that which is pointed towards, the stress instead is laid on internalising and recognising the essence, in shared presence, of meditation and transmission/ resonance of the Shaktipat field.
”Stillness or emptiness, is full of vibration. All words try to point towards that, and in doing so also create a separation from that.”
At some point his Kundalini got an amplified boost due to an accident. The experience of deep pains and electrical sensations in the body, pressure in the head, ringing ears, visions and hearing disorders, all of this forced a deeper level of surrender. There was extreme exhaustion and inability to hold on to normal functioning life, which was therefore eventually transformed. At the same time, the sexual energy began to transmute and there was larger flow of kundalini available, there was experience of deep bliss and full body orgasms.
Eventually, it all exploded, like a lightning strike, suddenly and fiercely the light of a thousand suns shimmered. It was uncontrollable for a long time, and Peter dived into this experience to explore the new state.
In his quest, he met Vajra and Rohan, who were able to explain what happened in a complete way. For a period Peter participated continuously in Shaktipat Satsangs both live and online as well as received guidance. All the while, Peter had experiences of spontaneous samadhi states, a psychedelic perception of reality, complex yogi practices emerged, the sexual energy system transformed further and karmic states dissolved as well as the heart expansion occurred.
These incidents balanced the processes in his body and consciousness for a full and complete awakening and brought access to a clarified awareness as well as a higher consciousness and a stabilized state of samadhi.
Since then Peter is an integral part of the Sangha family. He is now established in the non-dual awareness, and lives life as a self realised being.
Peter provides Shaktipat and Guidance and can be contacted at this emailaddress: email@example.com
Marie Lindström Kapur built a strong base for the Kundalini to awaken within her through a self reflective nature from childhood. She received her training as an Ashtanga yoga teacher and delved deep in the practice of Mindfulness which came to be beyond mindfulness into the realms of intuitive Self Inquiry. For many years she taught and coached people which strengthened her own practice.
These preliminary techniques paved a way for her to be open and receptive to the influx of Shakti. Years of following a yogic path and laying stress on the very foundations of Yamas and Niyamas and the Wheel of Samsara, and Self Inquiry, the denser part of her Karma got dissolved.
Though the pathways were being cleared, with periodic arousals of Kundalini, the flow of shakti was mostly dormant and Marie unleashed her potential at light speed after receiving Shaktipat initiation through Rohan.
Their meeting instantly triggered her Kundalini into full awakening and there was a merging of her astral body with the cosmos. Deep experiences of samadhi dawned and deeper catharsis and purging took place before she stabilised.
Awakening of Kundalini oriented her towards the non dual teachings of tantras and Advaita Vedanta, which fully resonated alive in her very being. There was an intense resonance with the philosophy and pure recognition of the teachings pointing towards, and confirming, her own true nature.
Post her abidance in the non dual essence, she came to be known as Gyani, which means ‘one who knows’, ‘knowing’, ‘yogi through knowledge’. Gyani then realised that she had also been receiving many empowerments through invoking the astral form of Vajrayogini, the Sadhana of Kaula Tantra experienced and then finally was given the name Vajra.
She is well integrated in the void of non dual awareness and established energetically in regards to Kundalini clearings. She now facilitates Shaktipat and is a key element of the Sangha.
Vajra also give transmission through voice and integrates singing of kirtan with Shaktipat, as well as the traditional intiation of touch and sight.
depth and association to that which no mind can capture. -for a mind’s
flow is the very spectrum that dances in the heart of beholding.
When self-inquiry grew very strong, arrays of mystical experiences
manifested, blossoming forth from the dualistic chase of the enlightened
and the ignorant. Shlokas and text from advaitic masters became a deep
friendship, in which she was recognizing a stillness beyond words from
the medium of words (and its knowing), further sparking the
transcendental nature of experience.
Initiation later took place in person, setting forth a vigorous flow of prana
in her physiology. Leading up to the meeting with Advait Ashram, texts
such as poetry often in the form of bhakti manifested themselves. And
continued to be an outpour in greater velocity after their meeting. While
she felt great love towards their meeting and felt an inner puja in their
Between solid moments
I find rest
in your being
Just to vanish
“A mysterious sense of living, childhood, motherhood, the aquiring of all
this knowing, some see it false, some as truth. Nirvana is born of samsaric
nature, and true remedy awaits all who are ready to burn the quest for it.
The hope for the guru is as true as it is false, for in every moment that all
hope for another is exhausted and mind is equal to that of the heart who
just is, where is there room for otherness – where else is love but in the
letting go and letting be of division?
Free the one in front of you from your projections upon them. Then there
is room for love. Are you really listening to another when your mind is
busy shattering and making judgments? If you don’t rest in silence within,
how can you hear another?”
With great reverence for scriptures and teaching methodologies towards
yoga, Alexandra emphasizes experience and understanding beyond the
intellect. To rest with life as whole and know yoga not as method but as
being itself. She finds guidance and creative flow through the innermost
space of Mauna or silence, where words can only point, but never reach.
She also has a background in holistic culinary arts and physichal asana
which she shares in joy.
In the completely open and relaxed nature of mind, a most sacred stream
seek its way towards us, floods us from within, and reach so deeply into
the cavity of our hearts, that one finds oneself neither hollow nor full.
Only river is found. And otherness reflect as sunlit waves in the current of
Eleni Grigoraki had her awakening of Kundalini through simply following the teachings of Osho. She became a sannyasin in 1998 at Osho’s International Community in India and serve as a devotee of the whole order. Her given sannyas name, Ma Prem Yaari, means Love (Prem) and Friendliness (Yaari) in sanskrit.
Years of dedication to the system put in place by Osho and living by his words provided a great opportunity for her to flower as consciousness, shedding many aspects of the ego. She also had several initiations into shamanism and held circles assisting others on the path.
Yet what she longed for, what she still sought was a direct touch, a straight pointer, a more close contact to her own freedom, which she sensed would be through encounter with an enlightened being.
This is when she came across Rohan and in an instant, she received the Deeksha, a direct transmission of grace she had been missing and had had only glimpses of. The Shaktipat instantly flowed into her heart through coming in contact with Rohan and her process of transmutation exploded into nirvikalpa samadhi.
Since then she is dedicated completely to the Kundalini Transformation process through the Siddha Shaktipat System abiding effortlessly in advaita/non dual awareness, which is a result of the completion of the path of Kundalini.
This also paved way for the foundation of the Sangha and the AdvaitAshram System. Prema has been part of this Shaktipat Sangha since its beginning and over the years has had major karmic refinement through kriyas.
Seeing her growth and devotion, her establishment in the kundalini awareness, she was sanctioned as a facilitator of Shaktipat, and since then Prema transmits the Grace guiding other aspirants through the Shaktipat process and the unfoldment of Kundalini transformation. Yaari uses restorative yogasana, active meditations and combines Nritya/dancing and movement with Shaktipat.
Somatic Yoga & Qigong Master
Qusai uses posture and movement as a way of building awareness and circulating energy (qi/prana). Synthesizing learnings from over 20 years of study of yoga, qigong, feldenkrais, meditation and other allied somatic practices, his teaching style is flexible and playful yet has the potential to be deeply nourishing and transformative.
“While I guide you through these sessions, the aim is to quieten your mind and sharpen your proprioception ( an important bodily neuromuscular sense. It falls under our “sixth sense”, more commonly known as somatosensation. It is the body’s ability to perceive its own position in space and orientation in its surroundings.) and interoception ( the sense of the internal state of the body.) so that you can listen to your inner, primal intelligence, deepen your sense of presence to establish the qualities the daoists call Ziran (spontaneity) and Wei wu wei (doing not-doing).”
Anahata Hridaya Devi
From childhood Heather has always been drawn towards a deeper knowing and understanding of our true nature. As a child and throughout her life she has been very empathetic and tuned to sensations and the energy around as well as within her. She has spent much of her life exploring creative and meditative space which reflects through her artwork. This inner knowing and pursuing of truth led her into the magic, mystical schools, healing arts, studying and gaining many certifications in various modalities, such as Ashtanga yoga and massage.
It had been 3-4 years of Heather fully dedicating herself to her Ashtanga yoga practice when she experienced a sudden and spontaneous kundalini activity that removed layers of conditioning. This was followed by many challenging life experiences that pushed her towards deeper levels of surrender, she found herself shedding layer after layer of attachment while inquiring deeply within herself.
The depth of surrender then initiated the release of another phase of kundalini activity leaving her in complete and total awe and reverence for our divine true nature, this experience of kundalini awakening in the root and powerfully moving directly up through her crown straight into the cosmos, she became everything and nothing, shooting in and out of infinte stars. A feeling of becoming every being in all of existence and then a glimpse of the ultimate beingness.
The following days Heather was thrown into pure states of bliss and suspended in ecstasy for as many as 10hrs straight, feeling as though only minutes had passed, timeless effortless awareness. This experience and awakening left her in a constant state of awe, reverence and bliss for weeks and even months.
It was just a few years later Heather connected with Rohan ji and became a part of Advait Ashram Sangha. Through him she received a solid framework for understanding what she was expirencing and a beautiful foundation of support while also receiving directions and pointers to recognise her true nature as non dual awareness.
Immidiately after connecting with Rohan, she received shaktipat and began to release deeper layers of karma and samaskaras while directly experiencing states of Samadhi. The Dissolution into her true being continued and eventually she established fully in and as her true nature. Heather was given the name Hridaya meaning “spiritual heart, cosmic heart” as her kundalini was predominanty settled in the heart centre, grace poured and expanded the heart after deeksha was given.
Recognising this maturity and rootedness in her true essence as well as having fully opened up the sushumna path of kundalini, she is now sanctioned to impart Shaktipat Deeksha to initiate others as an extension of AdvaitAshram.
What is the use of many words?
Meditate. You will get everything through meditation.
Once you attain perfect inner peace, there is
No need to travel anywhere.
No need to see anything.
No need for pilgrimages to holy places.
All can be seen within.
Coming and going are simply the mind’s delusions.
True peace, true liberation is attained
When the one Self in all is seen.
This is liberation from bondage,
This is desirelessness.
If you are looking for the object held in
Look in your hand—not elsewhere!
So with all things:
Test them within.
– Bhagawan Nityananda
Walking a path of Bhakti Yoga from a young age, Divine transmission flows through Emma with open eyes, voice, hands, and loving presence. Following a pilgrimage across Asia & the Americas, in Jerusalem, she was initaited into the lineage of Siddha Yoga. She enjoys sharing the Arts, Music, and Resources of Holistic Health.
The view is wisdom, which is empty
The meditation is luminosity free of fixation
The conduct is the continual stream of nonattachment
The fruition is nakedness free of stains
– Mila Repa
For technical difficulties and subscription support contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graphics and Artwork
Silvana creates the graphics and art for AdvaitAshram from a place of loving depths, the creative ideas coming effortlessly and spontaneously through her being, she brings forth each design with Divine perfection
Testimony of Transformation
Do not take our word for it. See what others have to say about their blossoming experience.
My experience with shaktipat and the guidance offered by Yaari, Gyani and Rohan is one of self – grace in the purest form. The energy awakened through their shaktipat is of a fierce benevolence that makes my illusions so visible that the evaporate in clear seeing. The whole being, from the physical body tot he subtle dimensions is cleansed and invited to full aliveness.. Equally important are the crystal clear pointers given after the sessions and the many useful articels by the facilitators, because by reminding me of what spiritual awakening is really about, there is littel chance to settle for the consolation price of mystical experiences and a spiritual ego reinforced by them.
Thank you so much for me having been part of this Shaktipat transmission🙏🏻I am very grateful for having been part of the proces, and have experienced so many precious things. I will keep it short here, but every day was with new kriyas and especially on the 5th and 6th chakra I was extremely challenged with pain and unpleasant physical reactions as well as feelings accompanying it, but after it would get better. On the 7th day I realized that the crown chakra had earlier in my life not been very much in focus for my meditation though the other chakras had. It kind of seemed to be too holy, too divine, too sacred to go near. On the 7th day I came near it. And that was fascinating. After a short while of meditation cognitions came to me: ‘I am complete’ ‘I am whole’ ‘I don’t need anything, I have it all’. It was very light, very subtle and very beautiful. And after, when I meditate on the crown chakra the cognitions stay with me and deepen. Thank you so much to all involved and especially to Gyani Grace and Rohan Kapur who invited me, facilitated the process and made this possible for me – I am very grateful indeed, words cannot express it in full – Namaste
During the session, I felt energy sort of like an electric surge on the base of my spine and felt lots of energy/vibration above my head also. A momentary but truly blissful experience! I will keep posted as I continue to experience more and will most definitely reach out to you for additional Shaktipat sessions.
My feet moved intensely and I felt energy move in through my feet and up my legs. Legs shook for a bit. And then the feeling of tingles. Stimulation in the root chakra area and then through the heart, throat and brow energy centres. My arms went up in the air and I felt energy move out through my hands. Singing/sounds came out. It felt beautiful. When my arms came down, there was more focus on my heart and throat chakras. A bit of coughing. Then more intense singing. Felt the vibrations through my chest and head. My teeth and skull were chattering. Ended with OM chanting.
Paula Ashar Chalker
A good few months ago now I had a shaktipat session with Rohan. It was a very peace filled, deeply nurturing and activating experience. I could feel the energy pulsing at the Muludhara chakra and felt this for days afterwards with various bodily sensations happening. Now, whenever I simply think of Rohan, within minutes these sensations of energy movement in my body start again. It has been a very beautiful feeling as this journey is a lone one at times and having this connection through Shaktipat, through our divine selves, is very soothing. I was amazed by it at first. That Rohan would pop into my mind and I would think of having another session and the exchange would start. Bodes the question of am I thinking of him to summon it or is the kundalini calling to me and this causes me to then think of Rohan..all so wonderfully intriguing. I know that this would only build up if I I was to have another 1:1 session. It can only increase. I am very grateful for the feeling of unity, love, and connection. It would be this way with all of the practitioners of Shaktipat here. There indeed truly is a divine presence here. We are connecting into something beyond our separate selves. Its very beautiful.
The very very subtle layers of the limited ego mind started showing up in life after the bliss felt at Raison. I was shocked at the resistance I still had to accept certain aspects of me. Slowly, as another transmission happened on the full moon, I’ve finally started getting a GLIMPSE of the true essence of love. I’ve felt that essence being my essence as well for moments.
During the first shaktipat session, I witnessed intensified stillness in the body, deafening silence in the mind, darkness- a void… my familiar friend i retreated into (though with lesser intensity). When Rohan placed his palm gently on my head, through this still, silent, dark void, I witnessed a beam of awareness penetrate my crown like a thunderbolt, strike through the heart, bounce off the base and rise back up enlivening the deathly void. As per Vedic texts, I can say I was struck by the vajra.
It’s only 10 months since I found this online ashram and started participating in the shaktipat events, 1:1 sessions, 7 day intensive transmissions and Live Satsang zoom calls. I feel alive!
I see clearly, I can express myself without effort, I am confident, present, and mind is silent. I feel so natural, I literally feel home everywhere, I love and feel loved. I am love.
Many blocks and missconceptions have been cleared, Kundalini circuit flows up and down like a river without resistance, I enter shoonya, sometimes I merge with reality around me, I become everyone and everything.
This aliveness in the body, full of life energy!
I am the form of consciousness and bliss, I am the eternal shiva.
He could speak and appeal to me and my sense of scientific inquiry. He was able to demystify and make practical and real world applicable much of the ancient teachings and writings. It didn’t matter if it was Christian or Hindu, or Buddhist or Taoist, he could show me, and confirm for me the truth in any scripture or passage and do it in such a way that it became a change in me.
My heart just exploded energy rushes up n down my spine out top of my head crown lit up. Im home! My heart just knows the truth and i spoke with god/source, “ i never left you my child” what on earth just happened. Tears and shaking and laughing i saw angel wings and a man in my vision.
Alle Russo Dean
Through the grace of kundalini I was guided to Rohan. My first remote Shaktipat experience was pure bliss as kundalini rise in orgasmic waves. Resonance strongly felt as we connected through meditation for Shaktipat.
Shaktipat iInitiation was conducted by a person I trust, that makes it easy for me to let go and flow with the energy.. you my dear Yaari. So open to energy. so supportive … and so much more to me, always willing to listen attentively … with interest and love. Initiation was a very powerful experience ..I redefined my existence ..intense feeling with energy reaching a peak … which in the end left me with a sweet and relaxed sense inside..Kriyas are most often intense … and they work through me so precisely…incredible feeling .. exactly where you need them..even when I am not in meditation .. if I am in a “floating mode” (i.e, I am somewhere out with friends and for a few minutes I do not look anywhere and I do not think of anything, I HAVE KRIYAS! which of course I manage .. but they are always there, I perceive their existence. Recently, there was a kind of kriyas that felt it differently, like stings, electricity running through my body, but I knew that i had to let go and surrender… words are not enough to describe the depth..I feel so grateful… Each meditation is a unique experience… and this, gives me the motive to meditate daily and I long to immerse myself even more..and when it happens not to sit, I realize that I want it and I think about it….”
The session was wonderful. And thanks to your guidance, I was really able to detach from body and view from the perspective of my higher self, or at least what I perceived to be my higher self, much of the time. Previously, I was having a difficult time with clinging and attachment to the body sensations, but I’ve really begun to grow beyond that in comparison to where I began. So I’m very excited to continue nurturing that difficult time with clinging and attachment to the body sensations. I am thankful for your guidance 🙏Yaari and endlessly thankful for mother kundalini’s attention! I think I noticed the my granthis starting to be undone. There was a release in my pelvis area and an immediate rush of energy to my head. And for a couple of hours after I had to really try hard to not have what felt like an orgasm while I was driving. Second, I noticed that when I got into a deep state of meditation I would see this blueish light kind of floating around. I decided to focus on it and it kept advancing closer. So I decided to let it in through I think my third eye. I felt an immediate sensation of something in my head and I no longer saw the light. As I was spending more time with kriyas today, it kept coming to a pause which usually means the kundalini snake is preparing to rise. This was starting to happen more frequently. The energy started to get very powerful right through the middle of my brain. I decided to embrace that power and it slowly started to take my eyes upward with it. When I did this it invoked a very strong reaction to kundalini and I felt a much much larger snake than i have ever felt before.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is kundalini?
Perhaps more meaningfully kundalini can be described as a great reservoir of creative energy at the base of the spine.
It’s not useful to sit with our consciousness fixed in our head and think of kundalini as a foreign force running up and down our spine. Unfortunately the serpent image may serve to accentuate this alien nature of the image.
It’s more useful to think of kundalini energy as the very foundation of our consciousness so that when kundalini moves through our bodies our consciousness necessarily changes with it.
The concept of kundalini can also be examined from a strictly psychological perspective. From this perspective kundalini can be thought of as a rich source of psychic or libidinous energy in our unconscious.
In the classical literature of Kashmir Shaivism kundalini is described in three different manifestions.
The first of these is as the universal energy or para-kundalini.
The second of these is as the energizing function of the body-mind complex or prana-kundalini.
The third of these is as consciousness or shakti-kundalini which simultaneously subsumes and intermediates between these two.
Ultimately these three forms are the same but understanding these three different forms will help to understand the differerent manifestations of kundalini.
What is the difference between prana and kundalini? What is the difference between qi (or chi) and kundalini?
Kundalini, in its form as prana-kundalini, is identical to prana; however, Kundalini also has a manifestations as consciousness and a as a unifying cosmic energy. One could ascribe these same aspects to prana as well so past a certain point these become distinctions without differences.
From the subjective standpoint of an individual actually experiencing the awakening of kundalini I have found three completely different opinions:
The first opinion is that a pranic awakening is only a prelude to a full kundalini awakening. Tibetan yogins that I have encountered consider the activation of prana (Tibetan: rlung) as merely a prerequisite for the activation of kundalini (Tibetan: gTummo). What’s attractive about this viewpoint is that it explains the difference between the experience of simply having pleasant sensations in the spine and the much more powerful experience of having a “freight-train”-like full kundalini experience.
The second opinion, espoused by Swami Shivom Tirth for example, is that prana and kundalini are absolutely equivalent and that it is not meaningful in any way to describe a difference between kundalini rising and prana rising. When posed with question as to how to distinguish between pleasant sensations that show some pranic-activity in the spine and the much more powerful experience Swami Shivom Tirth said that the difference is not in the nature of the activity but in the consciousness that observes it. If the consciousness that experiences the pranic activity is seated within the spine (or more correctly, the central channel, known as the sushumna), then the experience is felt much more powerfully.
The third opinion, espoused by the modern hatha yogin, Desikaran, is that pranic awakening is the true experience to be aimed for and kundalini is actually an obstruction. Desikaran sees the kundalini as a block in the central channel and thus the kundalini must be “killed” to make way for the prana. This is the most unusual view of the three.
The Chinese concept of qi (or chi) can be safely identified with the Indian concept of prana.
If all this seems confusing – don’t worry, you’re in good company. My conclusion is that these are all different terminologies for dealing with a common set of experiences. Any one of these viewpoints is adequate for describing the full range of experiences. What is probably more relevant is to distinguish two different experiences which are often confused.
In one an individual experiences some pleasant energizing electric energy running along the spine. This experience itself brings about a wide range of experiences and results in vitality and sensitivity.
Another very distinct experience is the experience of kundalini entering the sushumna and rising up the spine. As soon as kundalini enters the sushumna this experience will completely overwhelm ordinary waking consciousness. From the moment that kundalini enters the sushumna there will no longer be a distinction between the subjective consciousness which experiences and the object of experience. This experience much more profoundly transfigures consciousness.
If kundalini is universal, why do some kundalini yogins seem to have more kundalini-energy than others?
Some Chinese texts distinguish between “innate qi” or “pre-natal qi” that one is born with and “cultivated qi” that can be developed. Clearly some people simply have more “innate qi.” This manifests as a stronger more resilient body and greater general vitality.
Through training those that have relatively weak “innate qi” may surpass those who have strong “innate qi” but do not train. There are many stories in the Chinese literature of Qi Gong about people who took up Qi Gong in order to improve their poor health became powerful martial artists or great qi gong masters. Of course those that have strong “innate qi” and also train their qi may develop the strongest qi of all.
What does kundalini have to do with spiritual enlightenment? What is the goal of kundalini yoga?
Along this channel are placed additional channel networks called cakras. These cakras are associated with major aspects of our anatomy – for example our throat, heart, solar plexus, and in turn these aspects of our anatomy are related to aspects of our human nature.
According to the literature of kundalini yoga our experience of these centers is limited due to knots which restrict the flow of energy into these centers. Three knots are particularly important.
The knot of Brahma which restricts the center at the base of the spine. The knot of Vishnu which restricts the heart center and the knot of Rudra which restricts the center between the eyebrows.
These knots form an important framework in yogic thinking and the stages toward enlightenment are articulated in terms of breaking through these knots in the yogic classic the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as well as in some of the yoga upanishads. Specifically, four stages of progress are described:
Arambha is associated with breaking the knot of Brahma and the awakening of kundalini.
Ghata is associated with breaking the knot of Vishnu and and with internal absorption.
Parichaya the absorption deepens and in
Nishpatti the knot of Rudra is pierced and the kundalini may ascend to the center at the crown of the head. In this state transcendence is integrated and, according to the yogic literature, the yogi has nothing more to attain.
Putting these elaborate physiological decriptions aside, the goal of kundalini yoga is the same as the goal of any legimitate spiritual practice: To be liberated from the limited bounds of the self-centered and alienated ego. In kundalini yoga this is associated with internal manifestations of the kundalini but the external manifestations should be similar to any other legitimate spiritual practice.
So does everyone agree that kundalini awakening is necessary for enlightenment?
You will find similar views in many Buddhist Tantric works. In addition this view is held by recent spiritual figures such as Shri Ramakrishna, Swami Sivananda, Paramahamsa Yogananda and Swami Vivekananda and of course by contemporary kundalini yogins themselves.
Nevertheless there are some dissenters from this view. These include Sri Chinmoy, Da Free John and Gurdjieff. Dissent can take a number of different forms. For Gurjieff kundalini is associated only with a binding force that leads us to be more attached to the world. Such a view of kundalini is not entirely inaccurate but only reflects the functioning of kundalini in the lower energy centers.
For Sri Chinmoy kundalini is an amplifying function that may make an individual more powerful but not more enlightened. From my perspective this also only addresses the impact of kundalini while it operates in the lower energy centers.
Da Free John (born Franklin Jones, a. k. a. Da Love Ananda) has a much more fundamental criticism of kundalini. As far as I understand his position, for him enlightenment cannot be the result of an experience; it is a cognitive transformation.
Kundalini may evoke a wide variety of experiences but these are not in and of themselves enlightening. This is an interesting perspective but it seems to assume that the raising of kundalini is an experience in which an ego-consciousness experiences a separate object known as kundalini.
Again, this view is consistent with the experience of kundalini in the lower energy centers in which the ego is detached from the movement of kundalini and kundalini experiences are precieved as separate from oneself.
However, I would argue that as kundalini rises the ego-consciousness becomes infused in a more fundamental consciousness of cit-shakti-kundalini and this experience does in fact produce a fundamental cognitive change.
Finally, there are many other spiritual practices, such as Zen, Vipassana meditation that consider kundalini irrelevant. Some practitioners or even teachers of these paths, such as Jiyu Kennet, may have kundalini experiences but generally kundalini is not a pivotal part of these paths.
Can I use kundalini yoga simply to improve my health?
There are those that teach kundalini yoga principally emphasizing its benefits on health without much discussion of the spiritual benefits. This is how hatha yoga has been taught in the west for some time. The affect of this approach depends on the attitude of the student.
There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to improve your health but there is a tension between awakening an energy that will ultimately burn up the ego and trying to shape that energy to simply fulfill an ego-oriented motive.
Is there any scientific basis for kundalini and the cakras? Do I really have to believe that all these cakras physically exist?
The true physical mechanisms underlying these experiences may be very different from those described. Izaak Benthov has proposed a model to explain kundalini in terms of micro- motion in the brain. In this model experiences are associated with parts of the body, such as the heart, because the part of the brain associated with that part of the body is stimulated by micro-vibrations.
His model is treated in “The Kundalini Experience” by Sannella. From a practical perspective the key thing is our subjective experience and that the roadmap of these subjective experiences has been mapped out.
Is Chinese qi gong a kind of kundalini yoga?
What is also clear is that may qi gong practitioners have reported experiences that are identical to those of kundalini yogins. In so far as each of these practices aims at eliminating blocks to the qi/prana energy then they share a common ground.
What about Tibetan Buddhism - has kundalini been known in Tibet?
Kundalini yoga practices formed the core of the teachings of a number of these Mahasiddhas and are strongly represented in both Tibetan Buddhist practices and contemporary kundalini yoga practices.
Kundalini yoga was spoken of as “Candali yoga” by these Mahasiddhas and became known as gTummo rnal ‘byor in Tibet. Candali yoga was a key practice of the famous Tibetan yogin Milarepa.
Are there any other traditions that show awareness of kundalini?
Nevertheless, the imagery is so unmistakable in these traditions that each must have, at least at one time, been conversant with the movement of kundalini.
So how do I awaken kundalini?
Broadly speaking there are two radically different direct approaches to awakening kundalini. One approach requires initiation by a guru and relies upon a technique called shaktipat, or “descent of shakti.”
It is variously called: Siddha Mahayoga, Kundalini Mahayoga or Sahaja Yoga (Spontaneous Yoga). These approaches are treated in the Siddha Mahayoga FAQ. The other approach uses intentional yogic techniques . The styles using intentional techniques include Mantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga or Kriya Yoga. These approaches are treated in the Kundalini Yogas FAQ .
Fundamentally the approach of Siddha Mahayoga and the Kundalini Yogas are different. In Siddha Mahayoga the guru awakens the kundalini and after that the core of the practice is the inactive and non-willful surrender to kundalini. In Kundalini Yogas the will is used to awaken the kundalini and to guide its progress. Clearly these are different approaches.
Nevertheless, elements of the each approach occur in the practices of the other. Siddha Mahayogins may use asanas, pranayamas and other hatha yoga practices. On the other hand gurus in Kundalini Yoga may give infusions of shakti to their students to help them at particular points in their practice.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using effort, in kundalini yogas, as opposed to the grace of the guru, in siddha mahayoga, to awaken kundalini?
While not every long-term student of either practice necessarily shows signs of kundalini awakening it is amazing how many people have had instant awakenings of kundalini through initiation from siddha gurus.
In terms of encountering difficulties along the path the siddha gurus would also claim that fewer problems due to kundalini awakening, such as mental imbalance, are encountered by students of Siddha Mahayoga.
Here I think the results are mixed. It seems to me that the guidance of the teacher in either Siddha Mahayoga or Kundalini Yoga is more a determining factor than which style of kundalini practice is employed.
Generally speaking each style of practice has its strengths and weakness. The strength of Siddha Mahayoga is the ease with which it awakens the kundalini. The weakness is that because the kundalini is so easily awakened by the guru students of Siddha Mahayoga often have completely undisciplined personal meditation practices.
Time is spent instead to trying to recreate some of their initial experiences by following the guru around hoping for his or her grace Some people spend 20 or more years in this manner without ever developing an inner core of practice or experience.
The strength of the family of Kundalini Yogas is that the progress is at least apparently more under the control of the student of the yoga. These students seem more likely to have disciplined personal practices and more of an understanding of how the practice relates to their own experience.
Unfortunately for some students this leads to a fairly egotistical approach to their practice and ultimately the kundalini energy is used to bolster the ego rather than to merge the ego in bliss.
What are the signs of an awakened kundalini?
Vocal signs can include spontaneous vocal expressions that range from singing or reciting mantras to make various animals sounds such as growling or chirping. Physical signs include trembling, shaking and spontaneously performing hatha yoga postures and pranayamas.
From a more subjective perspective the more pleasant experiences associated with a kundalini awakening may include: waves of bliss, periods of elation, glimpses of transcendental consciousness.
The less pleasant experiences associated with a kundalini awakening may include: trembling, sharp aches in areas associated with the cakras, periods of irrational anxiety, sudden flashes of heat.
Are these methods of awakening kundalini dangerous? What about Gopi Krishna's books?
Even in the best of circumstances this is likely to be uncomfortable and if an individual is barely coping with his unconscious even under normal circumstances then awakening kundalini may push the individual over into psychosis. This phenomenon has been documented many times.
Forceful methods of awakening kundalini pose additional dangers. Because quite forceful methods can be used to awaken kundalini these techniques themselves are potentially physically and mentally disruptive.
An individual named Gopi Krishna awakened his kundalini by doing unguided meditation on his crown cakra. His life after awakening was both blessed by ecstatic bliss and tormented by physical and mental discomfort. Eventually his experience stabilized. He wrote down his experiences in a recently re-released autobiography entitled “Living with Kundalini.”
Gopi Krishna’s autobiography appears to be an honest representation of his experiences but it is only one extreme datapoint in the panorama of experience on kundalini yoga. It represents dangers in forceful unguided practice but it is not representative of a typical practitioner’s experience.
But even if kundalini is dangerous, isn't it a faster way to enlighenment?
If my kundalini is awakened will I need to change my lifestyle?
Furthermore without moderating sexual activity and physical work it will be hard to experience much success with kundalini. The extent that these elements of your life need to change depends on the nature of the individual.
While genuine mental imbalances arising from kundalini are rare nearly every kundalini yogin will find periods when one needs to be especially sensitive to needs for sleep, quiet and diet.
What is shaktipat?
It is probably not useful to try to resurrect the nine or more classifications of shaktipat used in the classical literature here. Practially speaking shaktipat is known by its results: the awakening of of the student’s kundalini.
There are also a variety of mechanisms for conveying shaktipat. These include: by glance, by word or mantra, by touch or simply by intention.
How does shaktipat work? If kundalini awakening is so important how can someone else do it for you? How could a guru overcome my karma?
On the other hand, Abhinavagupta examines the paradox inherent in attempting to determine the causal conditions for the descent of grace when it is essentially an act of freedom on the part of the Supreme Lord who is the source of grace.
If shaktipat is a manifestation of grace then why would anyone person experience shaktipat more deeply than another?
Ordinarily it takes a long time to create a fire by rubbing sticks together but if someone else already has a fire then that fire can be used to ignite another fire. Similarly to make a magnet naturally may require thousands of years but if one already has a magnet then a metal can easily be magnetized using the magnet. Each of these analogies points out that the process of conveying shaktipat depends on both the qualities of the siddha guru (the fire or magnet) and the disciple (the wood or iron). If the siddha guru is more powerful, then the qualities of the disciple may be less. If the siddha guru is less powerful, then the qualities of the disciple must be greater.
Who can give shaktipat?
Who can receive shaktipat?
Are all shaktipat initiations the same?
In shambhavopaya initiations the kundalini shakti of the disciple is awakened and led up through the bodies energy centers bringing a glimpse of the highest realization. Due to the current state of disciples, and contemporary gurus, almost all initiations can be termed shaktopaya initiations.
Some contemporary yoga teachers and gurus lump a wide variety of phenomenon under the term “shaktipat.” For example, I have seen teachers of Kriya Yoga infuse their students with their shakti at various stages of the student’s practice with the purpose of eliminating blocks in the student’s channels.
These teachers called this practice “shaktipat initiation.” According to the tradition of Siddha Mahayoga such infusions are not considered “shaktipat initiations” because neither their aim or their result is to awaken kundalini.
Moreover, the resulting practices are not Siddha Mahayoga because after these infusions of shakti the student returns to their original practice, such as Kriya Yoga.
Can one receive shaktipat just by being in the presence of those with awakened shakti?
So what happens after shaktipat? What's the practice of Siddha Mahayoga?
All that is required is that the student completely surrender to this force. As a result of kundalini’s unfoldment spontaneous purifying movements, called kriyas will occur. In addition the practices of Hatha, Laya and Raja Yoga will naturally manifest.
Because all other yogas naturally manifest as a result of kundalini awakening this yoga is called “Mahayoga” or “great yoga.” Because the kundalini awakening is induced by a perfected individual or “Siddha” this yoga is called “Siddha Mahayoga.” Because all other yogas and their results occur spontaneously (“sahaja”) and without effort this yoga is also called “Sahaja Yoga.”
Even to reach the point of simply surrendering to shakti takes some practice for people. Some aids in cultivating surrender are chanting and selfless service. These practices open the heart and make one more susceptible to the influence of shakti.
What are kriyas?
These kriyas eliminate the blocks to kundalini rising within the spine or central channel.
How do kriyas purify one's consciousness?
Left unattended these attachments lead to actions which only reinforce the attachment. For example if we have impressions of anger then we will manifest anger in our activities which only reinforce our impressions.
As kundalini rises it will purify the anger and as a result of the purification process the kriyas will occur. Speaking of kundalini as an intelligent force which manifests its intelligence in particular activities, such as spontaneous yoga postures, to purify the blocks to its progress may sound a little mystical but there is a less mystical way of understanding what that means.
In our common language there are many colloquial phrases which allude to the natural state of our body-mind as being “straight” or “upright” and the unnatural state being “kinky” or “entangled.”
We say positively: “He’s an upright individual.” “She’s as straight as an arrow.” We say negatively: “He’s too kinky. He’s all tangled up in himself.” “She’s tangled up in knots.” There seems to be some subtle awareness of the value of straightness.
So it seems to be a good metaphor to view our mind-body continuum as a garden hose and the kundalini as water running through it. If you have a moderately tangled garden house a simple way of making it straight is to increase the pressure of water through it. As you do so the hose will naturally flip around to straighten itself.
To an observer it might seem as though the hose itself were intelligent in the way it straightens itself and in fact because the motion of the hose is governed by physical laws it does reflect a deep intelligence.
In the same way we don’t need to think of the kundalini as an independent autonomous force cogitating as to what asana, pranayama or verbal activity might purify a block inside us. It seems more useful to think of kundalini as a natural intelligent force whose natural movement untangles the knots which limit its expression.
The garden hose analogy makes another point clear as well. Imagine what happens if the hose is very tangled. Turning up the water pressure may be a very dramatic and perhaps even counter-productive process.
This seems to be what is happening in a number of cases where individuals, after receiving shaktipat, may have severe mental breakdowns. Thus it does seem to be important for individuals to have a certain level of stability and preparation before receiving shaktipat initiation.
Are these kriyas some sort of self-hypnosis or some sort of New Age phenomenon?
Some popular yogis and scholars have doubted the authenticity of this path but none who have done so show any familiarity with the classical literature of this tradition.
This approach has gone under many names such as siddha yoga, sahaja yoga, mahayoga or siddha mahayoga. Similar phenomena to kriyas also occur among some Qi Gong students. Spontaneous trembling, shaking, verbal noises, and body movements are common there as well.
Nevertheless gatherings of siddha mahayoga practicioners share many of the same characteristics of any other group gathering. Some people will try to fit in by emulating the behavior of those around them. There is no doubt that some people may feel the need to affect kriyas and others will accentuate kriyas that they have.
This may not even be conscious behavior. Gurus of this yoga must try to maintain a balance between interfering with the activity of the kundalini as manifested in the kriyas and encouraging the affectation of kriyas because kriyas are seen as “progress.”
Ultimately the validity of any spiritual tradition rests in its ability to transform the beings of its followers. The real value of siddha mahayoga is in transforming the minds of those who practice it.
Haven't a number of well-known teachers criticized kriyas? Don't they say that kundalini is a force that needs control?
Tibetan practicioners of gTummo yoga, Indian practicioners of kriya yoga and other noted authorities on the kundalini yoga process have clearly emphasized to me the importance of carefully controlling the kundalini process and not allowing the kundalini to act uncontrollably. Their sincere words cast doubt on my practice for many years.
So why do these teachers say these things?
I do not believe that they have special insight into other alternative ways of approaching the practice of kundalini yoga. Some people have quite frightening movements in meditation and without prior experience of kriyas the natural reaction is that such a person will almost certainly become physically or mentally unstable.
Experienced masters of Siddha Mahayoga, have seen it all before and their simple counsel is: “Do not resist kriyas in any way.”
For the individual who does surrender to the kriyas of kundalini shakti the perspective is radically different from the view espoused by teachers such as Yogi Bhajan.
For the individual who spontaneously and effortlessly performs kriyas such as intricate pranayamas, asanas and bandhas during their meditation the intentional exercises of the Hatha yogin are a merely a clumsy mockery of the subtle activity of kundalini.
In fact some claim that the entire corpus of Hatha yoga, as well as many of the Qi Gong exercises are simply imitations and classifications of the spontaneous movements of the Siddha Mahayogin.
What is the philosophy of Siddha Mahayoga?
These tenets include: the central role of kundalini in the manifestion of the universe and the evolution of the individual and the culmination of the evolution of the individual in a state of complete unity.
Different teachers have exposited Siddha Mahayoga in different ways. Swami Muktananda drew on a wide variety of Indian literature but principally relied upon the Shiva Sutras, the Spanda Karikas and other literature of the Trika school of Shaivism.
Swami Shivom Tirth has also relied up on the Shiva Sutras to define the different stages of evolution. Both Swami Shivom Tirth and Swami Kriplavananda have used Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras for their elucidation of the states of samadhi.
All of these teachers are quick to note that the use of these scriptures does not imply that Siddha Mahayoga is a form of Hinduism. Instead the emphasis is that each of us has the force of kundalini within us and having awakened the kundalini our life and religious practice will be enriched.
There are really only a few tenets of the practice of siddha mahayoga. The first is that the process begins with shaktipat initiation by the guru.
This initiation may begin with a formal request from the disciple and culminate with a formal initiation ceremony or it may occur informally through a impromptu manifestation of the guru’s grace in intention, glance, word or touch.
Through the initiation the kundalini shakti is awakened and begins to move in the disciple’s body. The practice then consists of deeply surrendering to the spontaneous manifestations of kundalini shakti, as described above.
What is the precise role of the guru in Siddha Mahayoga?
Because it is the guru who awakens your kundalini the guru is given great reverence in this tradition. The awakening of kundalini that many people struggle, with effort and danger, to accomplish in a lifetime a true guru can accomplish in a few seconds.
Nevertheless the role of a guru is to awaken the kundalini within you; then the practice takes place between you and your kundalini.
The guru is a facilitator in the process of awakening kundalini not an ongoing intermediary between the disciple and kundalini.
With respect to the guru the classical Shaivist literature takes an especially pragmatic attitude. Classical literature of Shaivism, such as the Shiva Purana, states that if after one year the disciple has not arrived at some direct inner experience through the agency of the guru then there is no fault in seeking another guru.
What I read from this is that this path is not one of years of wondering : “Is something happening?” but a practical approach in which one should, through the grace of the guru, be brought into direct experience of kundalini.
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